Hurricane Sandy: Indefinite Delay in Polish & Slavic Discrimination Case
Chalk up an indefinite delay in the case of the credit union CEO who sued his former credit union over allegations he was fired for upholding state and federal equal employment rules to Hurricane Sandy.
Lawyers for the 78,000-member, $1.5 billion Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union were supposed to file the credit union's response to the allegations from former CEO Oskar Mielczarek that he had been fired after only one year for not going along with what he charged was the New York credit union's discriminatory hiring policies which instructed him to hire only Polish employees.
But Dena Epstein, an attorney with the national law firm Jackson Lewis, wrote the court on Oct. 31, blaming the storm for missing a filing deadline.
“Due to Hurricane Sandy, we respectfully advise that we will not be able to file answers on their behalf tomorrow and are uncertain when we will be able to file the answers,” Epstein wrote, stating also that her own office was closed through Nov. 2 and she had not been able to communicate with her clients.
“In addition, I tried, but was unable to speak with anyone at plaintiff's attorney's office about this issue as no one is answering the phone at their office. In light of the storm and the ongoing difficulties people are experiencing with power, we anticipate filing these defendant's answers as soon as practicable.”
Meanwhile, the credit union has been acting to bring its branches in New and New Jersey back to business and has begun to collect material relief for its members who have suffered losses from the storm.
The credit union has an original presence in New York and New Jersey but also branches in the Chicago area. Branches in the Chicago are have suffered no weather related impacts, according to Mariusz Moryl, Marketing Manager for the credit union.
Moryl reported that all New York and New Jersey branches have bee opened, but that the Garfield branch is still without power and the CU has placed its Mobile Branch at the site. Also, the branch in Bayonne, New Jersey, opened at 11:00 AM today.
Additionally, the credit union is waiving fees accrued during the storm and its aftermath, including non-sufficient funds (NSF), return of a deposited check (NGC), auto transfer of funds, and Intell-a-check. Also, late payment fees on consumer loans which might have accrued during this period will be waived.
“We want you to be assured that we will continue to do everything in our power to assist you in the recovery efforts,” the credit union said in a letter to its members. “If there still is no power in your area and you need to charge your phone or a laptop computer, please feel free to visit one of our branches. Special area has been designated at the Clifton branch for neighborhood children who might need electricity to complete their homework assignments. We have also started collecting necessary non-perishable items: batteries, blankets, pillows, warm clothing and outerwear, as well as personal hygiene products: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and other personal hygiene items for the hurricane victims in our community.”